The South Carolina High School League realigns the classification of all schools every two years, based on student enrollment figures.
With contrasting growth trends evident in the Clover and York school districts, Clover High School is currently the 20th largest school in the state and York Comprehensive High No. 48, the smallest 4A school in the state.
CHS athletic director Carroll Hester said enrollment figures would likely impact the Clover High football team, should the Blue Eagles advance to the Class AAAA playoffs this year.
"The way it's structured, there's a good chance we would be in the Division 1 bracket," explained Hester. "That's what happens with the growth we've had.
"We have no control over it."
Steve Boyd, athletic director at YCHS, said 135-day enrollment numbers will be made available in June.
"It's the 135-day enrollment that will determine realignment for the next two years," noted Boyd.
"Anytime you're on the border like we are, it's uncertain," the York native and former Cougar head football coach pointed out. "The classification may change. It can go up or it can go down."
YCHS assistant principal David Mitchell estimates the school's state ranking to be in the 45th to 48th range by June.
Said Mitchell, "It depends on the growth in other areas of the state, but that would be my guess."
He added that 45-day enrollment figures will be available Oct. 22.
Regardless of the outcome of future realignment, both Hester and Boyd said their respective schools will deal with it and move on.
"We'll do what we have to do," assured Hester. "We're excited about being in a 4A region with all the schools close by."
Boyd said York Comprehensive will survive, whether the classification is 3A or 4A.
"We'll deal with it and be fine either way," he added. "We hope realignment doesn't place us in a region that would increase travel time."
One thing is certain. The York-Clover rivalry in football and all the other sports will never diminish, regardless of the classification of the schools.
And speaking of rivalries, it's a little scary to think of what the S.C. High School League did to Rock Hill and South Pointe.
The Bearcats and Stallions were placed in a different region for whatever reason. The move was not a classification issue and it will cost Rock Hill and South Pointe a boat load of money due to increased travel expenses.
Not to mention that it closed the curtain on the Rock Hill-Northwestern end-of-season football classic.
The feeling of this columnist is that YCHS will remain in the 4A ranks and CHS will end up in the Big 16, a football-only playoff format.
It's not like the York school district is losing students every year. Growth is occurring in the area but not at the pace the Clover district and others are experiencing.
It would appear that YCHS will experience more rapid growth in the not-too-distant future.
Will the day come when the state's ultimate authority in high school athletics (SCHSL) considers placing York and Clover in separate regions?
Only if York moves down to 3A classification, one would surmise. Otherwise, don't even think about it.